Best Portable Oxygen Concentrator for 2021
In 2020, when the COVID-19 virus started spreading rapidly around the globe, the need for essential medical devices skyrocketed. The infection caused mild to moderate and even severe respiratory issues because of low oxygen levels in the patients’ bloodstream. So, medical equipment and oxygen therapy devices like ventilators, CPAP machines, oxygen concentrators became the saviors of many people.
One such wonderful life-saving device that has been around for years but witnessed a significant rise in its demand and importance during the past 1.5 years is a portable oxygen concentrator. A portable oxygen concentrator is a boon for people who are struggling with not only COVID-19 related respiratory problems but other breathing disorders like COPD or pulmonary disease and low blood oxygen levels.
When you require supplemental oxygen daily, your everyday life changes drastically. During such times, a portable oxygen concentrator can act as your greatest savior. This lightweight and easily portable device helps you go about your daily activities without any hassle so that you no longer have to give up the freedom of your everyday life.
However, buying a portable oxygen machine is no small deal. It is an incredibly important decision because not only are you purchasing a vital medical device, but you are also paying a considerable amount of money for it. Medicare may cover the cost of your machine but they would have to send it to your home care provider and it may be a tough process all around so many people choose to purchase these units out-of pocket. So, if you are looking for the best oxygen concentrator for yourself or a loved one, then look no further. This blog is exactly what you need!
In this article, we will talk about what a portable oxygen concentrator is, what you should look for while buying one, and the list of the 6 best portable oxygen concentrators on the market today.
So, let's get started!
What Is a Portable Oxygen Concentrator?
Portable oxygen concentrators, also known as POCs, are medical devices used to provide supplemental oxygen to people by way of a nasal cannula. The device takes in the air from your immediate environment and increases the oxygen concentration by filtering out its nitrogen by way of sieve bed filters.
It doesn't require refillable oxygen tanks as it works by drawing oxygen from the surrounding air. This makes it extremely easy to maintain and take care of. A portable oxygen concentrator is extremely lightweight and small in size, so it's easy to carry around wherever you go.
Additionally, many POCs come with both an A/C adapter that is suitable for household outlets and a D/C adapter so that you can also plug them into any of your automobiles and draw DC power. So you can easily use them on the go.
Key Features You Must Consider While Buying a Portable Oxygen Concentrator
The kind of portable oxygen concentrator you should buy will greatly depend upon your specific medical requirements, like the amount of oxygen you require per minute, oxygen delivery options, etc.
So before we move on to our list of the top 10 portable oxygen concentrators for 2021, let's look at some of the important features you should consider before making your final buying decision.
1. The Flow Rate of the Equipment
The most important thing that you should assess while making your purchase of a portable oxygen concentrator is its flow rate. The best way to choose the perfect POC for you is to remember that the capacity of your oxygen concentrator must always be higher than your requirement.
For example, if your oxygen requirements are 3.5 liters per minute (LPM), then try to go for the portable oxygen concentrator having the capacity to deliver 5 LPM of oxygen. This is a simple tip, but it goes a long way in ensuring that you are not stuck with an inadequate device.
2. Battery Life
Simply put, a portable oxygen concentrator is as good as its battery life. Even a premium POC will be worthless if you can't take it anywhere due to its short battery life.
While the device's battery duration greatly depends on the different oxygen delivery modes, you should at least have a portable oxygen concentrator providing a battery life of anywhere from 2 to 4 hours from a completely charged battery. A model providing battery life below that is probably not a great deal.
Also, If you take a lot of trips where you don't always have access to a vehicle charger or wall outlet, try to buy a model with greater battery life or find some extended battery options.
3. Oxygen Delivery Modes
Oxygen concentrators come with two different oxygen delivery modes– pulse flow mode and continuous flow mode.
In the pulse flow mode, the oxygen is supplied to the patient in measured pulses which are adjustable to certain limits. You can also get models with the feature of auto-adjusting the pulses to match your inhalation and exhalation needs.
On the other hand, the oxygen is delivered constantly at a fixed rate in the continuous flow mode. This mode is suitable for patients who have higher oxygen needs. So it's important to consult with your doctor and know your supplemental oxygen needs before you go shopping for a POC.
4. Weight and Size of the Device
Portable oxygen concentrators come in various weights and sizes. Ranging from as low as 0.8kg for a small and compact device to 8 kg for a larger one, there are a plethora of options available on the market today. Portable oxygen concentrators are perfect for home use because of their portability meaning they can move with you around the house.
Remember, a smaller POC will usually have a lower oxygen capacity. So if you need more supplemental oxygen, we recommend you go with a larger POC. It's important to choose the device that fits both your lifestyle and medical requirements.
5. The Oxygen Purity Level of the Device
Different POC models come with different levels of oxygen purity. Most portable oxygen concentrators have a purity value ranging anywhere between 87% to 99%. However, the concentration level differs from model to model.
So, ensure to consult with your health care provider and discuss your oxygen needs before buying the concentrator.
6. Noise Level
Everyone who needs to use a portable oxygen concentrator should pay attention to the noise level of the unit they are interested in. The noise level is measured in decibels meaning that the higher the number the louder the unit is going to be. For example, a unit that has a noise level of ≤ 42 dBa (decibels) is going to be louder than a unit that has a noise level of ≤ 39 dBa (decibels).
The Top 6 Portable Oxygen Concentrators for 2021
Now that you know the basics of a portable oxygen concentrator and what to look for while buying one, you might want to know about the best POCs on the market today, right?
So, to help you choose the perfect portable oxygen concentrator for yourself or a loved one, we have compiled a list of the top six POCs for 2021. Let's have a look at them:
Known for its high-quality medical equipment, Philips needs no introduction. The highly renowned brand manufactures portable oxygen concentrators and other respiratory-related devices under the name Philips Respironics.
The Philips Respironics SimplyGo POC is a lightweight and extremely easy to use device. It has both continuous flow and pulse dose, also known as pulse flow, oxygen delivery modes. It also supports a Sleep Mode. This portable oxygen machine has a compressor that is very sturdy allowing the device to work well for both pulse flow and continuous flow delivery methods.
The device can be an ideal choice for people who require a continuous flow oxygen and live busy and active lifestyles. As it supports continuous flow settings, it can easily be used with both CPAP machines as well as BiPAP machines.
The Philips Respironics SimplyGo POC comes with an AC wall power plug and a DC vehicle power plug and runs on a powerful battery. So you can comfortably use the device on the go without any issues. The Philips Respironics SimplyGo portable oxygen concentrator has a noise level of ≤ 42 dBa (decibels) making it relatively quiet so you can receive your oxygen therapy without disturbances.
Inogen is yet another highly popular brand that offers compact and lightweight portable oxygen concentrators. Their models sport modern and sleek designs and are meant to be easily carried around. The Inogen One 63 portable oxygen concentrator delivers oxygen using pulse flow settings.
The Inogen One G3 is a fabulous and stunning piece of equipment that is an all-rounder. Not only does it look very stylish but its features are unmatched. The device weighs less than 5 pounds and requires little to no maintenance. It is a power-packed machine that can easily run for hours before needing a new battery.
Additionally, the Inogen One G3 comes with a range of powerful sensors and tools that can instantly identify fluctuations in performance levels. So whether there is power loss, problems with breath detection, or any other issues the device's alarms will alert users. Plus, the device is FAA-approved as well. The Inogen One G3 is a little quieter than the Philips Respironics SimplyGo with a noise level of ≤ 39 dBa (decibels). All Inogen oxygen concentrators one with a 3-year warranty. This POC also has an optional carry bag option for those constantly on the go.
3. Airsep Freestyle 5
The Airsep Freestyle 5 can be a good choice for people looking for a pulse flow machine. While it is not very small and can look like a bag while carrying around, the device comes with some great functions that make up for its comparatively larger size.
It comes with a visible battery indicator, one-touch function controls and can deliver up to 5 hours of uninterrupted service. The equipment is capable of providing a maximum oxygen output of 1000 ml per minute. Airsep Freestyle 5 offers an impressive three-year warranty for the machine and a 12-month warranty for the batteries. The Airsep Freestyle 5 has a noise level of ≤ 48 dBa making it about as quiet as a library.
The Inogen One G4 is the successor of the brand's G3 model. And just like its predecessor, the Inogen One G4 doesn't fail to impress.
Weighing just 2.8 lbs, the Inogen One G4 portable oxygen concentrator is one of the lightest, smallest, and quietest devices present out there today. The equipment supports pulse dose oxygen delivery mode and provides you with three different oxygen flow settings. This device has an easy-to-read control panel so you can view the battery life or which setting you are on.
It comes packed with the Intelligent Delivery technology feature that quickly detects the user's breathing rate and delivers the right amount of oxygen accordingly. It is also capable of adjusting the oxygen levels according to the pace of your breaths. The device can give you up to 5 hours of long-lasting battery life with an 8 cell battery and is FAA approved, making it safe for airline travels. The Inogen One G4 has a noise level of ≤ 40 dBa which is about the same noise level as a quiet conversation.
Like its predecessor, the Philips Respironics SimplyGo Mini comes loaded with some powerful features but in smaller size and more advanced technology. The SimplyGo Mini is the brand's smallest portable oxygen concentrator.
This device can be a great choice for users looking for a lightweight POC with long battery life. The SimplyGo Mini weighs just about 5 pounds and can easily be used for as long as 4.5 hours with a standard battery. And if you have the rechargeable battery, it will provide your device with 9 hours of battery life.
The SimplyGo Mini has some impressive features as well. The device can easily withstand intense vibrations and temperatures. This makes it suitable to be used at all times and in all places. The concentrator offers five pulse dose settings, starting from 220 ml per minute to 1,000 ml per minute.
It also sports an LCD touch screen making the device more intuitive and easy to operate. Just like the other devices on this list, the SimplyGo Mini is FAA-approved as well. The SimplyGo Mini has a noise level of 43 dBA.
The last one on our list is perhaps the most advanced portable oxygen concentrator that you can find on the market in 2021. The Inogen One G5 is the successor of the brand's highly renowned G3 and G4 models.
With a weight of less than 5 pounds, the device offers some incredible features that you can not easily find in other POCs. It offers a total of six oxygen flow settings and can deliver oxygen 24/7 with a rate of up to 1260 ml/minute. The G5 model also comes with the Intelligent Delivery feature that is capable of detecting the breath rate of the user and adjusting the oxygen level accordingly. The Inogen One G5 also has 2 rechargeable battery options: Inogen One G5 8 Cell Battery, and Inogen One G5 16 Cell Battery. The 8 cell is a single battery while the 16 cell is a double battery. With the 8 Cell single battery, you would get up to 6.5 hours of battery life and with the 16 Cell double battery you would get up to 10 hours.
Moreover, the Inogen One G5 comes with an impressive new feature called Inogen Connect. It is a free mobile app that is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. It basically allows you to learn about the device in a quick and hassle-free way. The Inogen One G5 has a noise level of 38 dBA which can be compared to the noise of a quiet library.
|Key Features||Flow Rate||Battery Life||Oxygen Delivery Method||Size||Weight||Oxygen Purity||Noise Level|
|Respironics SimplyGo||5 to 2 LPM||3.4 Hours||Continuous & Pulse Flow||
11.5" x 10" x 6"
|10lbs with Battery||87 to 96% at All Settings||≤ 42 dBa|
|Inogen One G3||Pulse Settings: 1 to 5||
Setting 1:4.5 Hours
Setting 5: 1.7 Hours
3.0" x 8.75" x 8.25"
|Single Battery: 4.8 Lbs||90% +6%/-3% at All Settings||≤ 39 dBa|
|Airsep Freestyle 5||Pulse: Settings: 1 to 5||
Setting 5:1.25 Hours
Setting 1:4.25 Hours
6.6" x 4.4"x 10.7"
|6.7 pounds||90% oxygen +5.5% -3%||48 dBA setting of 3|
|Inogen One G4||
Pulse Settings: 1 to 3
Setting 1:2.7 Hrs
Setting 3: 1.3 Hrs
2.75" x 6.00" x7.20"
|90% +6%/-3% at All Settings||≤ 40 dBa|
|Respironics SimplyGo Mini||Pulse Setting: 1 to 5||9 Hours||Pulse Flow||
9.4" x 8.3" x 3.6"
|5 Lbs Standard Battery||87 to 96% at All Settings||43 dBA Setting 2, 46 dBA Setting 5|
|Inogen One G5||
Pulse Setting: 1 to 6
Single Battery:6.5 hours
7.19" x 3.26" x 8.15"
|90% +6%/-3% at All Settings||38 dBA @ Setting 2|
So there it is! The six best portable oxygen concentrators for 2021. We hope that this list was able to give you some clarity on POCs and help you find the perfect one for you.
However, we recommend that you take a trip to your doctor and discuss your medical needs and oxygen requirements such as whether he recommends a POC or home oxygen concentrator before you buy an oxygen concentrator so that you can select the one that is just right for you!
Managing your daily life with a POC can be a little overwhelming at first, but you can easily restore comfort and normality into your life with the right device.